Chris Gianatti Director

Chris worked for a number of years with Corrs before moving in-house to Telstra as HR Legal Counsel for the “”Factory”” (covering Telstra’s back of house operations including the field workforce). In that role he was also a key strategic advisor to Telstra’s COEs for Workplace Relations, Talent&OD and Remuneration, as well as also being a major advisor to Payroll, Vendor Management and Corporate Security on employment issues. Most recently before joining KHQ, Chris was a partner at a national workplace relations boutique based in Melbourne.

“A leading industrial relations expert … with deep knowledge of the law underpinned by a strong industrial and commercial perspective”
– Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019

Chris’ expertise spans the full range of industrial and employment matters including:

  • project IR, enterprise bargaining and workplace strategy
  • major disputes and industrial litigation (including good faith litigation, right of entry, protected action and pickets)
  • corporate performance, policy, change management and productivity
  • executive contracts, remuneration and restraints
  • employment litigation (including adverse action, unfair dismissal, bullying and EEO)
  • OHS and incident prosecution defences, and
  • workplace surveillance and privacy.

Chris regularly appears in the Fair Work Commission, as well as in the Federal and State courts nationally. While based in Melbourne, his practice often takes him to Perth, Sydney and Brisbane, with his major clients spread across a range of industries including resources, infrastructure, construction, banking, manufacturing, transport, media, professional services and retail.

Client feedback typically emphasises Chris’ value-driven approach based on genuinely different insight, simple advice and practical outcomes-focused steps.


Chris has received the following recognition:

  • Doyles Guide – Recommended – Leading Employment Lawyers (Employer Representation) Victoria (2018 & 2019).
  • Legal 500 Asia Pacific:  Leading Individual – Band 1 – Employment (Australia) – 2015-2019.
  • Chambers & Partners – Asia Pacific Guide 2019 – Employment Law.
  • The Best Lawyers™ in Australia for Labour & Employment Law – 2018-2020.
  • Lexology Client Choice: Winner – Employment & Benefits (Australia) – 2015-2017.


KHQ Lawyers Chris Gianatti Chris Gianatti - KHQ Lawyers Chris Gianatti - KHQ Lawyers

Latest News & Insights

Workplace mental health – another reason to support not stigmatise

Posted By on 30/03/16 at 12:50 PM

WORKPLACE MENTAL HEALTH: Another reason to support, rather than stigmatise, our people who self-report personal issues and seek our help. While not specifically on mental health (but rather as a case concerning a victim of domestic violence it is absolutely analogous), in this recent case the Fair Work Commission found a dismissal to be unfair … Read more

2016: trends & sleepers

Posted By on 16/02/16 at 9:30 AM

Welcome back for 2016! What the early cases are already telling us in 2016 – the race for change is on.  What are your competitors potentially doing that you are not?  The Fair Work Act places multiple hurdles to change. Whether it be business necessity or not, those hurdles are now really being tested – with … Read more

Hospitalisation due to mental health can be an exceptional circumstances for the purposes of unfair dismissal

Posted By on 9/02/16 at 4:51 PM

Further to our developing series on workplace mental health, this employee claimed incapacity due to hospitalisation for mental health but was still able to brief a lawyer, make a bullying complaint and lodge an application from his hospital bed. Nevertheless, this is perfectly understandable and Deputy President Kovacic found that this was an exceptional circumstance … Read more